Sunday, January 19, 2014

Using the Offline Map Capability in Camino Pilgrim

Update, Version 1.3.1 :  May 30, 2014


Version 1.3.1: Improved layouts, fixes to offline maps 

Version 1.3.0:  German translations, Hiker icon to show location

Version 1.20: Added offline maps capability, option to share itinerary, MapQuest tiles for OpenStreetMaps online option, tablet layouts support

To access all features, please update to the latest version -- Version 1.3.1.

When downloading Offline Maps, the download will be done as a background process. This means that you can continue working on the app even while the maps are downloading.

Note that the use of OpenStreetMaps online in the previous version may have been problematic. I have changed to a new server source, MapquestOSM. Please try it out. Also, Offline map handling is now provided using Mapsforge and is used as described below.


Currently, there are 3 Map Types provided in the Settings of Camino Pilgrim:

  • Google Maps - Online
  • OpenStreetMaps -  Online
  • Mapsforge - Offline

If you are using Wifi and/or have no limitations in mobile data, then using the online maps, i.e. Google Maps - Online and OpenStreetMaps - Online -- is not a problem. You may notice, though, that OpenStreetMaps (OSM) online maps may load a bit slower than those of  Google Maps, so please just be patient.  The OSM tiles are provided by the Mapquest.  You may also notice that if you use the online options, if you have browsed through certain areas online, these areas will also be visible even if there is no data connection.  This is because the map tiles you have browsed are sometimes cached.

If you are walking on the Camino and do not have Wifi or do not want to use Mobile Data, then you would need to have an offline capability to view the maps.  In the latest version, version 1.20, Camino Pilgrim now allows you the option to view the Camino offline.

To use the offline maps option, go to the Settings screen as shown below. The Settings Screen is accessed by pressing the 3 dots on your action bar and choosing Settings.  Set your Map Type to the Mapsforge -- Offline option. Under Manage Offline Maps, press Download Offline Maps and you will be prompted to download maps.  The maps (Spain and France Aquitaine) are downloaded from the Mapsforge servers and total about 300 MB, so use the offline option only if you have enough space.  The downloading is done in the background, and you will notice this in your notifications.  You may continue using the app while the offline maps are being downloaded.

If you do not want to use the offline maps option or need the space, just press Delete Offline Maps. Once in a while, the maps are updated on the server, so just press Update Offline Maps if you would like to get the latest offline map versions. Make sure you have a stable and fast internet connection when downloading offline maps.  As of Version 1.3.1 (May 30, 2014), an option to Cancel Download of Offline Maps has been added.  This means that if you decide to abort your download, you may just click on this option.

Once the Mapsforge - Offline option is set, you can use the maps even without an internet connection, as long as you set your GPS on in your phone.

Here is a map of Logroño (great tapas here!!!) using the Mapsforge - Offline maps. (Screenshot from a 7" tablet)

To see your current location, press the Show Location icon -->  

Notice also that there is a red line drawn on top of the map -- this is actually a simplified version of the Camino route.  It gives a general direction of where you should go, but please do not depend on it completely. When in doubt, ask your fellow pilgrims, or even better, pay attention and follow the yellow arrows that will lead you to Santiago de Compostela.

So that's it! Hope you enjoy the maps and Buen Camino!


  1. thx! this is best app on camino france ever i seen.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jay! It really makes me happy to hear that. :-). Hope the app will be helpful on your Camino!

  2. I am preparing to use your tool, which looks great. I happen to have downloaded the Google map of Spain, so I am wondering if you've considered that scenario.

  3. Hi. Could you tell me if an IOS version for your app is available in the apple store?